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Color and 3D views of the Sierra Nevada mountains
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
This Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) image of the
Sierra Nevada mountains near the California-Nevada border was acquired
on August 12, 2000. MISR's vertical-viewing (nadir) camera produced
A stereo "anaglyph" created using the nadir and
45.6-degree forward-viewing cameras provides a three-dimensional view
of the scene when viewed with red/blue glasses. The red filter should be
placed over your left eye.
To facilitate the stereo viewing, the images
have been oriented with north toward the left.
Some prominent features are Mono Lake, in the center of the image;
Walker Lake, to its left; and Lake Tahoe, near the lower left. This view
of the Sierra Nevadas includes Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia
National Parks. Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous 48
states (elev. 14,495 feet), is visible near the righthand edge. Above it
(to the east), the Owens Valley shows up prominently between the Sierra
Nevada and Inyo ranges.
Precipitation falling as rain or snow on the Sierras feeds numerous
rivers flowing southwestward into the San Joaquin Valley. The abundant
fields of this productive agricultural area can be seen along the lower
right; a large number of reservoirs that supply water for crop
irrigation are apparent in the western foothills of the Sierras. Urban
areas in the valley appear as gray patches; among the California cities
that are visible are Fresno, Merced, and Modesto.